Croatia beat Russia in penalty shootout to reach semi-finals

Croatia beat Russia in penalty shootout to reach semi-finals

The 1998 team made a quarter-final statement, sending German football into a spin with a 3-0 win and they were 1-0 up against hosts France in the semi-final before losing 2-1.

Kramaric had an overhead kick gathered by Akinfeev shortly after the break and Perisic was then inches away from putting Croatia in front as he saw his strike come back off the inside of a post. In the ensuing penalty shootout, both Danijel Subasic and Igor Akinfeev made one save each and Ivan Rakitic scored the decisive penalty that took Croatia to just their second semi-final in its independent history.

- Russian Federation are the first host country to be eliminated at the quarter-final stage of a World Cup since Mexico in 1986.

With no goal coming, the match went into 30-minute extra time.

In the 59th minute, Kramarić was involved again as the Balkans very almost took the lead.

The hosts continued to put Croatia's defense under pressure but the Modric-led team kept their cool and equalized in ice-cold fashion six minutes from halftime through Andrei Krammaric.

Cheryshev collected the ball near the halfway line, exchanged passes with Artem Dzyuba and curled a 25-meter shot past Subasic.

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However the Croats trailed for barely eight minutes as Andrej Kramarić headed home to level the scores. In Russia's next two attempts, Sergei Ignasevich and Kuzyayev were successful but as did Vida and Ivan Rakitic to give Croatia a 4-3 triumph. The hosts are on cloud nine and would love to continue their form against the Croatians.

Fernandes sent the ball wide of the mark while captain Modric handed Croatia a 2-1 lead. And they indeed showed a lot of patience, throughout the match against a gutsy Russian Federation, who kept coming back at them, even though the Croats were favourites on paper.

But nearly immediately after making their third sub in the 88th minute, Subasic fell to the pitch grabbing his hamstring, and he was forced to continue after receiving treatment and made a save at his near post.

Akinfeev was helpless as Vida's header sneaked through a body of players into the bottom-right corner of the net from a corner on the right.

Instead the opener came at the other end three minutes later from Sbornaya's second foray into the final third.

The Real Madrid man showed nerves of steel in the penalty shootout, scoring his spot-kick despite having one saved by Kasper Schmichael in the second half. But he saved fantastically the first shot in the shootout. Akinfeev made on save during the shootout and almost had another on Luka Modric, but the shot deflected off Akinfeev's hand, off the post and into the net.? After scoring minutes apart in regulation and again in extra time, it would come to penalties again as Croatia and Russian Federation tussled for the right to play England in the semifinals.

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